For immediate release | Tuesday, March 19, 2019

CEP Statement in Support of Australian Prime Minister’s Call for the G20 to Address Regulation of Tech Industry in Wake of New Zealand Attacks

Press Contact:

Media at CEP

(New York, N.Y.) – Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Senior Advisor Dr. Hany Farid and Executive Director David Ibsen released the following statement today in support of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s call for the Group of Twenty (G20) to take measures against social media companies in the wake of the New Zealand mosque shootings. The G20 is set to meet this June in Osaka, Japan. On March 18, Morrison penned a letter to Japanese Prime Minister and G20 President Shinzo Abe asking the prime minister to raise the issue during the upcoming summit. 

“Tech companies’ collective failure to swiftly and permanently take down the horrific video of the New Zealand terrorist attack as well as re-uploads is reprehensible and grossly negligent and lays bare the unwillingness of these powerful companies to put public safety and decency over profits. Their insufficient efforts must be the motivation for the members of the G20 and other public officials to step forward with thoughtful regulation that preserves an open Internet, but also reins in its worst misuses that result in tragedies like the New Zealand attack," said Farid and Ibsen.

“For more than a decade, Silicon Valley has been allowed to self-regulate and we are witnessing the tragic results. Without the necessary guard rails in place, self-imposed or otherwise, a terrorist was able to livestream himself committing a heinous act and others were allowed to repeatedly re-upload the same video for the purpose of inciting more violence.

“Tech companies’ unbridled economic growth has created an industry-wide indifference to online extremist propaganda and the creation of extremist echo chambers that serve as breeding grounds for radicalism. The era of self-regulation must come to an end.”